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Improve Your Language Arts Skills With Flashcards

written by: lwitkop • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 11/29/2013

ELA flash cards are well-suited for studying in reading, writing, spelling and similar subjects. Learn techniques for using them to help you improve these types of language arts skills in order to do better in your ELA classes.

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    Using ELA flash cards to study or learn a new language, can help you improve your language arts skills, including reading and writing. These tips for students of all ages will help you ace your tests in no time.

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    Usage for Studying English

    English Language Arts If you have a student or child who is just learning to read, flash cards are a good way to build up her list of sight words. In addition, they are ideal for studying vocabulary words. Writing the word on one side of a card and its definition on the other is a classic study technique. You can either read the definitions and try to identify the words, or read the words and quiz yourself on their definitions.

    For a creative writing class, use ELA flash cards as writing prompts. List scenarios, questions, first sentences, and other story starters on individual cards. When you're facing writer's block, flip a card and start free-writing.

    If you have someone else to quiz you, prepare for a spelling test with the help of flash cards. The cards will also help your study partner randomize the words more easily than with a printed list.

    When studying a novel, list the major events on separate cards. To study the plot, try to put them in order. You can also select an event card and try to describe its significance to the story, how it develops a larger theme of the work, or other specific topics that you may need to become more familiar with for a test or paper.

    Of course, the first way to use ELA flash cards to learn poetic and literary devices is to treat them like any other vocabulary flash card. Write the term on the front of the card and the definition on the back. However, a more advanced way to put these terms to use is to write the devices on cards and then try to create an example of each technique when you select the card.

    You will not only develop your understanding of these literary devices for any quiz or test, but you will be able to transfer these language arts skills to your own writing.

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    Usage for Language Learning

    When you're learning a new language, flash cards are a great way to build your vocabulary. Write your vocabulary words on one side and the English equivalent on the other. Try to translate in both directions, from English to target language and from target language to English. For a more immersive experience, draw or paste a picture of an object or action on the front of the card rather than the English word for it.

    • Practice verb conjugations by writing the infinitive on the front and the full conjugation on the back. You can also use two sets of flash cards for verb conjugation practice. Make a set of subject cards to go along with the verb cards, then pull one from each set. For instance, you might end up with the subject "He" and the verb "to run" in your target language.
    • Advanced students can make a third set of language flash cards to determine what verb form to use, with cards for present tense, past perfect, command, and so on.

    If you are learning a language that uses a different alphabet or writing system than your own, these flash cards can help you get a grasp on these unfamiliar characters. For instance, students of Japanese could write kanji on the front of cards and their romaji pronunciation on the back.

    Language flash cards can also help you practice your pronunciation. Your vocabulary cards can work double duty here. Read through the words, focusing on accurate pronunciation.

    Language classes often incorporate lessons about geography and culture. Use these types of flash cards to help you remember anything from famous Spanish painters to the major cities in Italy.